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Sports Minister Mthethwa not convinced Sascoc has desire to solve their internal problems

Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Image: Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Deon Raath

Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa says government is not convinced that the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has demonstrated a desire to solve their internal problems.

The minister was reacting to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announcement on Monday that they had rejected his request they intervene at Sascoc because of controversies around election nominations.

“We wish to reiterate that as government we remain unconvinced that Sascoc has demonstrated the necessary will to deal decisively with their internal problems‚ particularly those relating to governance‚ as spelt out in the Ministerial Inquiry Report‚” said Mthethwa.

The minister said he had noted the joint statement from the IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) which called for Sascoc to be allowed space to resolve their problems by themselves‚ even though the Switzerland-based body said they were “obviously unsatisfied with the latest developments and ongoing disputes specifically related to the upcoming Sascoc elections”.

“The approach to Sascoc’s international mother bodies was not only in response to the two elections-related disputes faced by Sascoc but also relates to a two year long process of ensuring that the recommendations of the Ministerial Inquiry into the affairs of Sascoc‚ are implemented‚” he said.

Mthethwa asked the IOC and IPC to help Sascoc solve their problems as they have a huge impact on athletes.

“The appeal to the IOC and IPC was therefore aimed at enlisting the help of the sports movement to address sports problems to avoid the perception that government was being heavy-handed through alternative ways of bringing back stability to Sascoc in the interests of the struggling athletes‚"he said.

“Through a task team appointed for this purpose‚ the department of sport‚ arts and culture‚ has been assisting Sascoc with the implementation of the recommendations in the hope that the process would be concluded by the end of last month.

“In terms of progress made to date‚ agreement has been reached on addressing 26 of the 42 sub-recommendations‚ meaning that work still has to be done on the remaining 16.

"Whilst a few of the 16 might be addressed by the elective conference‚ others will require financial resources that Sascoc does not have. This is one of the reasons that the election of a new leadership is urgent.”